Want to attend the Hawaii Bowl to watch Fresno State’s football team take on Houston, but think it’ll cost as much as as a slick, ultra HD TV?
A few cost-cutting measures, through the magic of the internet, and making the road trip with a friend could get you Hawaii Bowl tickets near the 50-yard line and a four-night stay in Waikiki for about $1,000.
And you’ll even get back to Fresno by Christmas morning.
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But there are three key factors to get that rate:
▪ You’ll need to fly out of Los Angeles International Airport.
▪ You’ll have to split hotel and taxi fees with a friend.
▪ You’ll want to book flights sooner than later since rates are subject to change.
$581 Cheapest round trip ticket available, out of Los Angeles International Airport to Honolulu when traveling Dec. 20 to Dec. 24
As of Wednesday evening, a flight that left LAX for Honolulu on Dec. 20 – so you could be on the island of Oahu in time to attend the first Hawaii Bowl event – and leaving the island shortly after the game on Dec. 24 costs as low as $581.
That travel plan includes an 11 a.m. departure from LAX and 5:45 p.m. arrival at HNL on Hawaiian Airlines (with one stop in Kona).
Then after the game, which begins at 3:30 p.m. Hawaii time, you’d leave the Honolulu airport by 10:30 p.m. on Virgin Air or 11:59 p.m. on United and get back to Los Angeles sometime between 6:07 and 7:32 a.m.
Because a rental car would be extremely expensive on the island during the holidays – a compact would cost $460.73, according to hotwire.com – it’s suggested to skip that option while also avoiding any parking fees. Just take a taxi or Uber from the airport to the hotel (about $30), from the hotel to the game ($60) and from the stadium to the airport ($42).
Those three taxi fees combined, when split between two people, projects to about $66 per person, according to www.taxifarefinder.com.
And as of Wednesday evening, Hotwire.com was advertising a three-star hotel for $84 per night for the four nights in a Waikiki Beach area, which after taxes and fees totaled just under $500.
Split that hotel cost in half, and a person is looking at $250 for the stay.
If Fresno State beats Houston in the Hawaii Bowl, it would cap a 10-win season and mark the Bulldogs’ first bowl victory since 2007.
The Hawaii Bowl is known for not drawing big crowds. So good seats around the 50 likely will be available and cost just $45.
Since you’d be taking that cab to the stadium, you’ll avoid the $7 for stadium parking.
Factor in the price of gas to and from Los Angeles ($20 per person) and airport parking near LAX, which runs as low as $8.95 per day (about $30 per person when divided in two after taxes and fees), and you’ll start to see that a bargain trip to the bowl game runs more along the lines of an iPhone X – but not nearly as much as the latest in 80-inch flat screens.
Here’s the price breakdown, per person, when splitting costs with a travel buddy:
Gas, parking: $50
Total (excluding food, drink, souvenirs): $992
If you traveled solo, your total would be $1,358.
And if someone was looking to fly out of Fresno instead, a round-trip ticket from FAT (leaving Dec. 20 and returning via a red eye Dec. 25) was going for as low as $740 on United.
Either way, make it to Hawaii and you could witness Fresno State history – if the Bulldogs were to beat Houston.
Not only would that mark Fresno State’s first bowl win under coach Jeff Tedford and cap a 10-win season, but it’d be the Bulldogs’ first postseason victory since 2007.
FRESNO STATE VS. HOUSTON
- Kickoff: 5:30 p.m. PST Dec. 24 at Aloha Stadium (50,000) in Honolulu
- TV/radio: ESPN/KFIG (AM 940), KGST (AM 1600)
- Records: Bulldogs 9-4, Cougars 7-4
- Series: This will be the first meeting between the two programs
- Fresno State storylines: Fresno State enjoyed the best turnaround in college football this season with an eight-game improvement after winning just one game in 2016. The Bulldogs are looking for their first bowl victory since 2007. Fresno State lost in its past two trips to the Hawaii Bowl – both against teams from Texas – after falling to Rice 30-6 in 2014 and to Southern Methodist 43-10 in 2012.